Members will have seen the Fire Service pay offer contains a section where members will agree (upon ratification of the contract offer) to “participate and support the introduction of a National Resource Allocation Methodology” (NRAM).

Already a CD and glossy presentation has been made available to the Union that sells on lofty ideals but has no detail. The detail, we are led to believe, will be constructed with input from stakeholders (you and your representatives NZPFU, UFBA, etc.).

It will come as no surprise to members in Auckland that the removal of Aerial Appliances from the initial turnout to sprinklered buildings fits with the fine detail of NRAM. With no safeguards in place such as reinstatement of turnouts for systems that have been shit down, or consideration of sprinklered buildings with limited egress, Auckland Management are courting a potential disaster that could cost the lives of the public or their own staff.

AFRM Neil’s instruction to remove Heavy Aerials from turnouts highlights the Fire Service’s total disregard to Health & Safety Acts and Regulations.

The main reason for the introduction of the Health & Safety Act and Regulations had been driven by the poor “health and safety” performance by some organisations who have had the attitude that “does the law say we have to do that” or “what does the law say”, rather than thinking in terms of how to improve our business or how can we do things better.

Put simply, the legislation states:

  • Provide the right plant and equipment to do the job.
  • Maintain the plant and equipment to keep it working.
  • Train the person doing the job – how to use the plant or equipment.
  • Provide an effective environment to work in.
  • Have a process to handle an emergency.
  • Find the hazards of the job that will affect, injure or kill an employee.
  • Have someone who understands the job so they can supervise others.

Interestingly, the above are all ‘basic’ operating business principles. Now add the effect that all of the above will have if not managed relevant to health and safety. It shows the co-relation between productivity and the safety of employees.

AFRM Neil, with the support of all senior Fire Service Management, is ignoring these basic principles. 

The Auckland Local believes further appliance response reduction, reduction of crewing on specialist appliances, station closures, removal of additional engines from Volunteer Stations/ Districts, District amalgamations with loss of management positions and station manning reductions are just some of the finer details of NRAM.

The Auckland Local will challenge the Fire Service Management’s NRAM where it places firefighters’ lives and the public’s lives at a risk level elevated above that which currently exists. With two people being rescued from a smoke-filled, sprinklered mall fire (4th alarm) only last week, a loss of life may not be far away with such changes.

The Auckland Local challenges Mike Hall to make a full disclosure not only to members but also to the UFBA, on everything identified to date in NRAM and related projects.

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